By Rev. Keith Thompson
Living Hope Church
God is into new. In the Bible He talks about a new covenant, a new song, new heaven and new earth, new birth and a new start.
You may have heard about the man who moved into a retirement community to spend the rest of his life there? It wasn’t long until he had made a number of friends among the other residents. There was one lady he was especially attracted to, and she was attracted to him. So they spent a lot of time together. Finally one evening he proposed, asking her to marry him.
The next morning he woke up remembering his proposal, but he couldn’t remember her answer. So he went to her and said, “I’m really embarrassed. I proposed to you last night but I can’t remember if you said `Yes’ or `No.”’ “Oh, thank goodness!” she replied. “I remembered saying `Yes’ but I couldn’t remember who asked me.”
Sometimes people feel that way about New Year’s resolutions. We tell ourselves, “This year I’m going to turn over a new leaf. I’m going to exercise regularly and lose weight. I’m going to do all kinds of things to improve myself physically and spiritually.”
But then somehow we forget.
This article isn’t so much about new resolutions as it is about having a new start and allowing God to do a new thing in our life.
Time and again, writers of Scripture called God’s people to anticipate God’s new intervention in their lives.
Isaiah 43 promised Babylonian exiles that God was now “doing a new thing.”
Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (NIV)
The Israelites were reflecting on their deliverance from the Egyptians at the Red Sea. God said to them to not dwell on the past, but to believe that He is about to do a new thing. A new start is coming.
How many of us today would like to have a fresh start?
In John’s Gospel, Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The good news is, God says, “I want you to have a fresh start in life, I want you to have a new beginning. I want to do something new in your life.”
That is a major element of what our Christian faith is all about – the opportunity to start fresh, to do something new with our life, to have a do-over.
This is a constant theme in the Scriptures.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans (Rom 6:4) that through Christ, our old life is buried, in order that we “we may live a new life.”
Paul also wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, (II Cor. 5:17), “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
We are just starting a new year, and it is customary in our society to think of January 1 as a day for new beginnings; A day for new resolutions. But the reality is that anytime is a time for a new beginning. January 1, July 31.
Will you have a fresh start in life? Will you have a new beginning? It’s your choice. The New Year comes once each year, but a new start in life is offered to us anytime we are willing to accept it from God.